A brief on Prince Rupert City Council meeting held on Monday, June 26. File photo

Process fish where they’re caught: Thorkelson

Prince Rupert City Council Briefs from August 21

Long shot for Fisheries Act amendment

Councillor Joy Thorkelson motioned for council to move quickly on providing recommendations to Fisheries and Oceans Canada on recommendations to the Fisheries Act. The federal department recently requested submissions from local governments but with a tight deadline of August 28.

Thorkelson made a passionate case for an adjacency clause to potentially direct policy for fish to be processed where they’re caught.

She said half of the labour hours at Canfisco were cut after the company decided in 2015 to move canning operations out of Prince Rupert.

“Whether the minister actually puts anything in there about adjacency is another question,” she said, adding a voice from the west coast will be bolstered by those on the east asking for a similar solution to vanishing labour opportunities.

Mayor Lee Brain said reports on the matter are already being prepared by staff and will be shared with Thorkelson to comment upon for the city’s official response.

Councillor Barry Cunningham requested strong language be used in the correspondence to reflect the deep socioeconomic impacts the matter has had on the community and its families.

Balanced books

Chief Financial Officer Corinne Bomben filed a financial report with council Monday, reporting most departments are on budget and capital projects on target. The only exception was the roads department, as she reported in previous variance budgets, which is operating at a higher expenditure than last year due to heavy snowfall in the first quarter of 2017.

In 2016, the year-to-date cost of roads was $756,000, compared to $1.1 million of this year’s nearly $2 million budget.

Variance permits move forward

Council gave the go-ahead for final consideration on a development variance permit application at 1501 Sloan Avenue. The owner asked to build a 60-square metre accessory building on the southeast, rear corner of the property for the purpose of a hobby workshop. City engineers were satisfied with the applicant’s plan to handle storm-water runoff, and the city heard no concerns from neighbours.

Council also gave the green light for another development application to proceed to the public-notification stage. The application pertains to the property at 1408 7th Avenue East, where the owner hopes to build a single-storey garage at the rear of the property for recreational vehicle storage. The 50-square-metre structure requires a variance permit to increase the maximum allowable height of an accessory building from 3.6 metres to 6.7 metres.

Staff advised the resident and council that the undeveloped alley behind the proposed structure is not serviced by the city for snow removal, grading, repairs and drainage, meaning garage access would be at risk of the applicant.

City engineering had requested confirmation from that storm water runoff would be directed on-site and were satisfied with the applicant’s plan.

After approving the application to proceed, council asked staff to clarify why the city is not responsible to maintain some undeveloped lanes.

More on the RCMP quarterly report and cleaning up the derelict buildings to come.

City of Prince Rupert

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